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A Guide to the Andrew Lytle's Letters to Alan Frederiksen

Finding aid created by Rhianna Martin

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
April 2016

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lytle, Andrew Nelson, 1902-1995
Title: Andrew Lytle's Letters to Alan Frederiksen
Dates: 1964-2004
Abstract: Andrew Nelson Lytle (1905-1995) was a novelist, professor, and editor of The Sewanee Review. This collection houses letters from Andrew Lytle to Alan Frederiksen, between the years of 1964 and 2004. The letters are personal in nature and mostly regard the publications of Frederiksen's works during Lytle's tenure as editor of The Sewanee Review and the friendship between the two writers.
Extent: 0.21 Linear feet.
Identification: MSS 0356
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Andrew Nelson Lytle was a novelist, professor, and editor of The Sewanee Review (1961-1973). He was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1902, and studied acting at Yale University. In his early years, Lytle became associated with the Southern Agrarians poet movement and the publishing of his first biography of Civil War Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. He later went on to write many other novels and essays. Lytle also taught literature and creative writing at the University of Florida (UF) and was a driving cofounder for the University's Master of Fine Arts Program, which was effectively established upon his arrival in 1948. Among Lytle's students at UF were Madison Jones, Merrill Joan Gerber, Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, Joanne Childers, Smith Kirkpatrick, Harry Crews, and Lawrence Hetrick. Though Lytle left UF in 1961, the program continued to prosper, featuring lectureships by Stephen Spender, John Ciardi, Maxine Kumin, James Dickey, Peter Taylor, and others; and hosting the annual Florida Writers Conference, which attracted participants nationwide and presented everyone from John Crowe Ransom to Ken Kesey. Lytle left UF to become the editor of The Sewanee Review, based out of Sewanee, Tennessee, and also taught at the University of the South. Under Lytle's tenure, The Sewanee Review gained prestige and popularity for its literature and criticisms. After retiring from formal teaching at the University of the South in 1973, Lytle spent his time in a small cabin in Monteagle, Tennessee, until his final days in 1995.

Not much is known of his correspondent, Alan Frederiksen, author of Red Roe Run, except from his communication with Lytle, and the appearances of his stories in The Sewanee Review. He was also a writer from New Orleans, and was featured several times in the literary magazine for his published works. Frederiksen authored such stories as "The Match" and "Red Roe Run." From Lytle's letters to Frederiksen, it was apparent that Lytle often offered writing guidance and help with publishing for Frederiksen's works, especially before his works were published by The Sewanee Review beginning in 1970. The letters also suggest that Frederiksen relied heavily on his writing skills, and frequently relied on the finances awarded to him by his published stories through The Sewanee Review for support, especially after the birth of his daughter.

References include: "Andrew Nelson Lytle" (Wikipedia), "The University of Florida Writing Program" (UF), and "Front Matter" from The Sewanee Review (via JSTOR).

Scope and Content

This collection includes personal letters between Andrew Nelson Lytle and Alan Frederiksen. The collection dates from 1964 through 2004. It is composed of letters from Lytle to Frederiksen and also includes a letter from Frederiksen reminiscing on Lytle's works and inspirations at the time the letters were donated. The letters evidence the close friendship between the two writers during their connections to The Sewanee Review, where Frederiksen's first work was published, as well as the nature of their relationship as their letters progressed.

The collection focuses mainly on the time period when Lytle was editor for The Sewanee Review, and is plentiful in its ties to Lytle's correspondent, and later close friend, Frederiksen. While the initial nature of their connection is unknown, it is apparent from Lytle's letters that their friendship progressed through their communications. The letters give light to researchers about the personal life and friends of Lytle during his time teaching literature, and as editor for the prominent literary magazine. Their close friendship opens up Lytle's letters to some of the intimate details of both men's lives and into the nature of their relationship, whether it be of fraternal values or endearment. Letters from Frederiksen to Lytle can be found in the Lytle Collections at Vanderbilt University.


This collection is arranged chronologically, with one letter from Alan Frederiksen regarding the donation itself being placed at the end.

Access or Use Restrictions


This collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

Lytle Collections at Vanderbilt University (MSS 267, MSS 603, and MSS 599)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Andrew Lytle's Letters to Alan Frederiksen, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Alan Frederiksen in 1998.

Contents List

Box Folder
11 1964-1969
12 1970-1973
13 1975-1979
14 1980-1983
15 1984-1989
16 1990-2004, undated
17 Letter from Frederiksen regarding donation, includes reminiscences of Lytle. 1998

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Frederiksen, Alan Ryle
University of the South

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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